Oral Histories

Kent & Fern Frost


Kent & Fern Frost

Q1: Is that the road you took when you first went to the Maze Overlook area? Not where it goes now?

K: Well yeah, right along the same route that it goes now. There were seismograph crews that had been in there, I think. Because we was following seismograph trails.

Q2: So in your book you say they went from a stock trail that the miners had bladed the Flint Trail was that for that drill rig or seismic work or…?

K: No that’d be for this drill rig that they moved down way back in the early ‘20s or sometime. But I guess they could see that… they seen that where that oil was seepin’ out way down there near Elaterite Basin. So they thought ther’d be oil all over the country up there. But I used to pick up them black rocks and burn ‘em in the campfire and I’d get a smell of burnt oil.

Q2: Wasn’t there a story about somebody said they took a drill rig and they lowered it off the cliff, it was an old boiler?

Q1: That was Lert who said they used cables to get those boilers down the Flint Trail. What they made, they modified in the ‘20s. I just wondered if there was…I found some sections of trail that looked like a stock trail, much older, and not something you would take a boiler down. That might have been the original Flint Trail. Did you ever hike down? Old switchbacks?

K: Nope, I never did. I think though that when I first went down there there was part of an old two wheel cart sittin’ down there close to where them drill stems were sitting too. And that was at the foot of the Flint Trail. And that had been there for a long time before they bulldozed the trail down too. So it’d probably been moved in with horses. So they must have been able to move wheeled vehicles down through there. And I would think that they’d have to, to take the drillin’rig and that stuff and wagons to transport all their stuff, I would think.

Q1: There are a couple of places. One of the old, I assume that’s proabably the one they took the boilers down, parallels the way the Flint Trail goes now, and the other one, the old switchbacks, the old horse trail, probably couldn’t get wheeled carts or anything down. It starts out near the Flint Trail Overlook. There’s an old stove there and a bunch of tin cans. It starts switchbacking..…you loose it after first hits the road. You said there were some sheepherders in your book when you were down there in the Standing Rocks. You ran into sheepherders?

K: Ah, yes. After we went in there the first time, they’d been running sheep. I think some folks from Price, that run sheep in there. And, uh, I think that they continued that practice from way back in the early days. And along about that itme there was a sheepherder down there that would butcher a sheep. And he somehow he run the knife into his leg and he cut his leg and bled to death. And that was along in the 1950s, I think, is when that happened. But yeah, we talked to the sheepherder a few times.

Q1: Where was he? In Range Canyon?

K: Well he was in the Elaterite Basin.

Q1: Elaterite Basin?

K: Yeah.

Q1: Did you ever see him out in Range Canyon? Standing Rocks?

K: No. When we went in there on one of our exploring trips there was two wild mules down in Waterhole Flat. And that was in April when we went there on that trip. And then we were down there…oh, three or four weeks later and we seen four cowboys in at Waterhole Flat. And I think they’d come in across the Dirty Devil River. Up above when they come in with the jeep and they had a little two-wheel trailer and they were bringin’ in some horses also. And they caught them mules and took them out. But they come in there to that Waterhole Flat. And then the next year they run some cows in there and they had cows in there for a few years there on the Waterhole Flats. And then later they moved out and then somebody from Hanksville moved in with some cows and they’d bring them up to Waterhole Flats. And they had their camp in one of them branches of Spring Canyon, I believe.

Q1: They never got up north of Waterhole Flat? in your trips into the Maze and Standing Rocks you never saw anybody in Standing Rocks or Ernies Country running cows or sheep ?

K: Well, no. But the Ekkers they run their cows down in Elaterite Basin all the time. But I don’t think they took ‘em over down to Waterhole Flats.

Q1: We’re trying to determine when Ernies Country and the Standing Rocks area was last grazed.

K: Have you been in contact with that Ned Chaffin from California?

Q1: No. You mentioned in your book that you knew the Chaffins that were running at Hite.

K: Well, that see, the brother to Arthur Chaffin who run the Hite Ferry. But anyway I met this Ned Chaffin down at Squaw Flats campground when they had the 20th anniversary of the park or something. And I talked to him quite awhile. And anyway he was one of the Chaffins who run the livestock into that Standing Rocks area, around Lizard Rock and up through there. And I had quite a conversation with him. And he come back the year after that and took a trip over toward…let’s see, Waterhole Flats and they was looking for a big cave south of Waterhole Flats that was supposed to be full of Indian ruins. And I never did find out if they found the cave or not. But I did write to him and he said that they never did find the cave. But anyway, the way that I would think it’d be is just by that Ocean Point, it’d be kind of west of that, in that canyon that drains off west of Ocean Point. And I never did get right down in there to see if there was a big cave there or not.

Read the other Oral Histories